It’s been more than three years since we started our Bablands journey and, while we’re all about the new, we still have our old favourites, be it a much-frequented play cafe, a kids’ indie shop where we’ve parted with more cash than we’d care to admit or a parent-and-toddler class we’ve returned to again and again.
In mid-March life as we knew it all but stopped, with every single one of our familiar haunts closing indefinitely as we went into lockdown – a development that’s been particularly hard for all of us flat-dwelling Londoners who are attempting to keep small people alive.
We’re now 13 weeks into the ‘Coronatimes’ and, while things are tentatively beginning to open up again, the future still feels unnervingly uncertain. It feels almost crude to be worrying about the repercussions of the Coronavirus on our cultural calendar, when there are obviously more pressing concerns right now, but I can’t help feeling overwhelmingly sad about all the cancelled exhibitions and the beloved businesses that may not survive the financial hit.
So, with that in mind I wanted to find a way to say thank you to everyone who’s worked to create all the amazing activities, hangouts and shops that have made our lives so rich and fun and happy over the last few years, by acknowledging them and their labour and giving them a big, virtual high five – in lieu of anything more concrete since I have nothing (although winners will get a Bablands badge and maybe even a sticker if they particularly want one. Who knows, I might even make some kind of cool graphic businesses can display on their websites, if they’re into that).
Below I’ve sort of self-nominated some of our favourites for each category, but this is just off the top of my head – it’s totally up to you guys who wins. Voting starts today, Monday the 15th of June and ends in two weeks, on Sunday the 28th. Good luck to everyone involved and big love to everyone who takes the time to vote. You’re the best. Thanks, love you.